"Downton Abbey"
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In the UK, Downton Abbey airs on a commercial network, ITV, and therefore has commercial breaks built into it. In the U.S., it's shown on a noncommercial network, PBS, which has underwriting credits and other network material before and after the episode, but no interruptions during it.

For the PBS airings, the series is edited (by the production company) into fewer--but longer--episodes than are aired in the UK. For season 1, PBS requested cuts of about 25 minutes total to fit the episodes into certain timeslots. (A wildly inaccurate article in the UK's Daily Mail newspaper claimed that some two hours of content had been removed.) However, the season 1 DVDs sold by PBS and other U.S. outlets contained the unedited UK version of the show.

Because of viewer criticism, subsequent seasons on PBS have aired intact, only being restructured into fewer episodes as mentioned previously. PBS has used timeslots ranging from 60-120 minutes to accommodate the series.

Downton Abbey: (#1.1): April1912

Downton Abbey: (#1.2): September 1912

Downton Abbey: (#1.3): March 1913

Downton Abbey: (#1.4): May 1913

Downton Abbey: (#1.5): August 1913

Downton Abbey: (#1.6): May 1914

Downton Abbey: (#1.7): August 1914

Downton Abbey: (#2.1): 1916

Downton Abbey: (#2.2): April 1917

Downton Abbey: (#2.3): July 1917

Downton Abbey: (#2.4): 1918

Downton Abbey: (#2.5): August 1918

Downton Abbey: (#2.6): November 1918

Downton Abbey: (#2.7): 1918

Downton Abbey: (#2.8): April 1919

Downton Abbey: Christmas Special 2011 (#2.9): Christmas 1919 - January 1920

The PBS broadcast for series one acknowledged the passing of time with on-screen dates stamps more frequently than did the ITV broadcast. To learn more about dates in series one, refer to the script book by Julian Fellowes.

Why is Cora an American?

Between the 1870s and the outbreak of WWI in 1914, hundreds of wealthy American women visited England and Europe to marry aristocrats. The earliest American heiresses married impoverished aristocrats because they were snubbed by American high society, but the later heiresses wanted titles and to mingle with European royalty. Cora was born to Isidore Levinson, a dry goods multi-millionaire from Cincinnati. She arrived in England, with her mother, in 1888, at the age of 20, and was engaged to Robert, then Viscount (pronounced vie-count) Downton by the end of her first season. It is not that remarkable that she is American. Britain still welcomes the odd American to its shores.

What is an entail?

Refer to this page for information: http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-entail-in-downton-abbey-and-more/

In addition the episodes state that Robert's father required the fortune of Robert's wife Cora be tied to the estate and therefore the entail. In essence, saying that Cora's money becomes the property of Robert's heir. Since Robert had no sons, the rules of male primogeniture state that the closest living male heir becomes the inheritor of the entailed estate. This is why Cousin Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham attempted to challenge the entail, so that they would not be penniless if the heir decided to evict the daughters from Downton Abbey when Robert passed away.

The term was originally used only in Northern England, meaning the period from Saturday noon to Monday morning, and was not in wide use until the late 19th century. The notion of people working for only 5 or 5 1/2 days in a week would not be familiar to the Dowager Countess, who is accustomed to the countryside and great houses, where people worked 6 or 7 days a week.

Edit: It could also be that neither the dowager, nor anyone she'd socialize with, has ever worked at all. Therefore it wouldn't occur to her that there are "workdays" and "non-workdays." In her life, a Saturday would be no different from a Tuesday. (A Sunday would, but only by religious custom.) When Matthew mentions the weekend, it only underscores that until now he's been a middle class lawyer in a very different circle.

It is true that the Republic of Turkey did not exist until 1923; before then, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. However, Turkey was the most powerful and important part of the Ottoman Empire, and so the Empire was often called "Turkey", just as the United Kingdom is sometimes referred to as "Britain." Also, the country was named after the people that lived there, the Turkish people, which had been in use since nearly 1000 A.D.

Where is Downton?

Somewhere in North Yorkshire. There are many mentions in the scripts of towns such as Ripon, Easingwold, York, Thirsk and Malton being nearby, and there are occasional mentions of Yorkshire in some episodes. Some of the servants (eg Mr Carson, Mrs Patmore, Anna and Sarah O'Brien) speak with northern accents (either Yorkshire or Lancashire).

However the filming locations are in the south of England: Highclere Castle in Berkshire (Downton Abbey exteriors and above-stairs interiors) and Bampton in Oxfordshire (Downton village - Mrs Crawley's house and Downton Cottage Hospital).

Matthew is the Earl's third cousin once removed; this means that the Earl's great-great grandfather is Matthew's great-great-great grandfather. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin#Cousin_chart

The chart below shows how Matthew Crawley is related to Robert and Mary Crawley through the 2nd Earl of Grantham. James and Patrick Crawley are related closer to Robert and Mary through the 4th Earl of Grantham and were higher in line of succession than Matthew to the Earldom of Grantham. The late 5th Earl of Grantham is Patrick Crawley, not to be confused with the other Patrick Crawley who was the 2nd cousin of Lady Mary Crawley and was presumed deceased after the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Matthew Crawley is the heir presumptive to the Earldom of Grantham and will be the 7th Earl of Grantham after the demise of Robert, the 6th Earl of Grantham. Matthew is heir presumptive and not heir apparent because he can be displaced by the birth of a male son to Robert and Cora, the Countess of Grantham.

                                        +-------------------+
                                        |     2nd Earl      |
                                        |   of Grantham     |
                                        |    (deceased)     |
                                        +-------------------+
                                                 |
                                                 +---------------------------------------+
                                                 |                                       |
                                        +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
                                        |     3rd Earl      |                   |  Younger brother  |
                                        |   of Grantham     |-----Siblings------|  of the 3rd Earl  |
                                        |    (deceased)     |                   |    of Grantham    |
                                        +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
                                                 |                                       |
                                                 |                                       |
                                        +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
                                        |     4th Earl      |                   |      Son of       |
                                        |   of Grantham     |----1st cousins----|    the above      |
                                        |    (deceased)     |                   |    (deceased)     |
                                        +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
                                                 |                                       |
         +---------------------------------------+                                       |
         |                                       |                                       |
+-------------------+                   +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
|  Younger brother  |                   |     5th Earl      |                   |      Son of       |
|  of the 5th Earl  |-----Siblings------|   of Grantham     |----2nd cousins----|    the above      |
|    of Grantham    |                   |    (deceased)     |                   |    (deceased)     |
+-------------------+                   +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
         |                                       |                                       |
         |                                       |                                       |
+-------------------+                   +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
|                   |                   |  Robert Crawley   |                   |   Dr. Reginald    |
|   James Crawley   |----1st cousins----|     6th Earl      |----3rd cousins----|     Crawley       |
|    (deceased)     |                   |   of Grantham     |                   |    (deceased)     |
+-------------------+                   +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
         |                             /         |           \                           |
         |                            /          |            \                          |
         |         1st cousin once removed       |         3rd cousin once removed       |
         |            /                          |                             \         |
         |           /                           |                              \        |
+-------------------+                   +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
|                   |                   |                   |                   |    Mr. Matthew    |
|  Patrick Crawley  |----2nd cousins----| Lady Mary Crawley |----4th cousins----|      Crawley      |
|    (deceased)     |                   |                   |                   |    (deceased)     |
+-------------------+                   +-------------------+                   +-------------------+
                                                 |                                       |
                                                 +---------------------------------------+
                                                                                         |
                                                                                +-------------------+
                                                                                |  George Crawley   |
                                                                                |  Future 7th Earl  |
                                                                                |    of Grantham    |
                                                                                +-------------------+

This seems to change all the time, but seems to include Posh Spice, Mike Tyson, Angelica Huston, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Roger Moore and Ryan Gosling.

Olivia Colman seems to be one of the few people who doesn't want to join the cast. (Although she played O'Brien in a spoof).

A butler was originally in charge of the wine, but at this point organises the maids and footmen and serves at dinner. The footman originally rode on the footplate of a carriage, and their main duty is to serve at dinner. A valet (pronounced val-it) looks after clothes, the equivalent to a dresser in the theatre). The female equivalent (eg O'Brien) is a lady's maid.

Page last updated by mikeyg24, 1 day ago
Top 5 Contributors: podracer96, raymondhng, mikeyg24, Metallicar, ncgraham

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